Your A-Z List of Cybersecurity Threats

17 Jun

In today’s modern world of IT and the pace at which it develops you could be forgiven for thinking that you are forced to face a new cybersecurity risk or threat almost daily. Sadly, this isn’t far from the reality.

Cybercriminals are developing new cyber strategies just as quickly (or even quicker) than the pros are shutting them down. A consequence of these relentless cyberattacks is the need to ensure that you’re always fully aware of new and developing cybersecurity threat types.

Here’s a brief list of the most common cybersecurity threat types to be aware of this year.

  • apts – advanced persistent threats

This is a very sneaky type of attack, whereby the cybercriminal quietly infiltrates the network and remains there, undetected, for an extended period while slowly syphoning data from the network.

  • ddos – distributed denial of service

This type of attack involves hackers flooding a server, website or similar with a multitude of connection requests, packets, and messages. The outcome is a very slow system or a crashed system that legitimate traffic is unable to access.

  • insider threats

The term “insider threats” implies that the threat or risk is malicious, but this type of threat can also be through unintentional human error and negligence. These threats are human-caused data losses and breaches that typically come from customers, employees, and contractors.

  • malware

Malware is malicious software that is either purposefully or inadvertently (by clicking on an email link or attachment or visiting a risky site) downloaded to a computer. Once the malware is on the computer in the form of spyware, a Trojan, a virus, or worm, it starts to cause harm to the computer and the files saved on it.

  • mitm – man in the middle attacks

An MitM is a type of attack that involves eavesdropping. A hacker intercepts messages between two parties and relays them to a third party so that the information can be used for malicious intent.

  • phishing attacks

Even though phishing attacks are one of the most prominent ways of hackers getting inside computers and networks, many people still don’t really understand that phishing is a form of social engineering. Hackers create messages (emails, content) that appear to be from a legitimate source and send them out to people. When the recipient opens the message or email, they assume it is legitimate and follow the instructions in the message. This can lead to them inadvertently sharing their personal particulars, log in details, and even credit card details with a cybercriminal.

  • ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware that is particularly malicious and damaging. When a hacker manages to get ransomware on a device (usually through an email link or visiting a risky website), they lock the user out of their own files by encrypting them.  When the user tries to access the files, a message pops up demanding a payment to decrypt the files on the device.

  • spear phishing

Phishing attacks are usually random, whereas spear phishing attacks target a specific person, business, or organisation. This type of attack is very strategic and includes advanced skills from the attackers. They aren’t just taking a chance on anyone – they’re after something specific.

  • social engineering

Social engineering takes advantage of human gullibility and error. This type of attack uses human interaction to lure people into breaking regular security processes to gain access to sensitive data. An example of social engineering is when someone phones you and says they are from the bank. They have some of your information but require you to answer a few security questions before they can proceed with the very official sounding call. You proceed to give them your full physical address, ID number, and banking details. You may even give them your card details if they request it. This is just one example of social engineering.

the importance of knowing what risks are out there

The value of the list above lies in the fact that you can only create a cybersecurity system and protocol for your business if you know what you are protecting it from. Threats are changing consistently, and as such, you will need to change, update, and enhance your security protocols consistently.

last word on cybersecurity threats

Protecting your data and devices is so much more than simply avoiding the hassle of encrypted files and crashing computers. It’s about protecting your clients, defending your company’s good image, and avoiding the risk of paying legal fees if you happen to mishandle someone else’s sensitive data. Familiarise yourself with the threats out there and get to work sprucing up your cybersecurity system today.

Do you know of any cybersecurity threats that don’t appear on our list? Let us know!

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